David Fakunle, PhD
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By: Marvin Roxas

On Friday October 20th, David Fakunle completed his four year-long PhD at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he defended his dissertation: Black, White or Green? The Effects of Racial Composition and Socioeconomic Status on Neighborhood-level Tobacco Outlet Density in Maryland. David Fakunle, PhD defended his dissertation at the Hampton House where his parents, family members, and friends were present to support him. His mother, Mama Deborah Fakunle, shared with the crowd of people celebrating David's successful defense of his dissertation: "I am so proud of what you did for our ancestors who never even got to finish high school."

"What can I say about WombWork? It's been a wonderful experience to really express the wisdom and knowledge of lived experience. And as somebody who just finished his PhD from Hopkins, lived experience is very important. And really understanding public health. So to be able to express it artistically in a form that anyone can understand has really informed my work as a researcher and my research has informed how we can better express the important information about life in Baltimore, whether it's violence, whether it's drugs, whether it's HIV, bullying, or so many other factors that affect our livelihood. To be able to express it artistically has made me a better researcher and being a researcher has made me better at expressing artistically. So WombWork has been an essential part of this process from day 1 to day 0 'cause it's over.

No matter what you do, you are always giving back to the community where you grew up. Ladies and gentlemen... it is with the spirit of my ancestors, my family and my city that I utter these words: the doctor is in."
~David Fakunle

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Thaddeus Street
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"What do you want me to answer again? Growing up in Baltimore, how WombWork impacted me?

My name is Thaddeus Street, a film and theatre actor, I'm working on a tv series called The Deuce which is on HBO I have  recurring role there, I grew up in Baltimore city, I was raised by my grandmother and aunts and uncles, grew up in a decent household and growing up in Baltimore City I saw a whole lot of things in the community and family. I became a part of WombWork Productions which was also called Nu World Art Ensemble. At the age of 14 I was introduced to theatre. At this time of my life I was going through a lot emotionally, I was trying to find out who I am and who I was, and just trying to find my place in society, I was going through some things and theatre was the perfect outlet to get me through the issues I was going through and to prepare me for where I'm at now.

Thaddeus at 16 years old

Thaddeus at 16 years old

 
Thaddeus performing at a Nu World Comedy Show in 2004

Thaddeus performing at a Nu World Comedy Show in 2004

Theatre and performing arts has been very instrumental, learning about myself, tapping into the different, me learning meditation and opening and tapping into the emotions in myself. As far as opportunities, I did a lot of productions in the community, theatre, performing arts, and I had opportunities to do film  television. My first experience was with HBO's the Corner and after that I did some stuff with the Wire and the list goes on and on. I was just being noticed for my talent, through my experiences with WombWork, it allowed me to be comfortable and confident."

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